Close

Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby kweston » July 22nd, 2016, 3:32 pm


kweston
 
Posts: 1
Joined: July 22nd, 2016, 3:17 pm
I am looking for entry-level positions to get started in Industrial Design, UI/UX, or Production Design. I am somewhere between an Artist, Designer, and Builder, and I can't get a call-back from jobs I think I am highly qualified for. I understand that a lot of entry-level employees are often learning on the job, and that many employers expect to be molding recent grads into the employee they need. If this is so, why is my potential not shining through? Must I decide on a focus in order to get hired? I enjoy that my skills allow me to be many things, and narrowing my potential job market by making a strict portfolio seems problematic if I don't yet know where I fit in. I would love to get some feedback on how my portfolio comes across - is it navigable? what is it missing? Have fun!

Portfolio website:
www.kirchin.com

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby Zachary_Fitean » July 22nd, 2016, 4:28 pm


Zachary_Fitean
 
Posts: 12
Joined: July 22nd, 2016, 3:57 pm
I'm also a recent graduate so I think what I have to say could be potentially helpful for you.

Entry level employees are always going to be learning on the job, it's expected. College prepares you in a different way than a company molding recent grads, and most companies are aware of this and have accepted it. That being said through your cover letter/ CV or resume/ and portfolio you really have to be able to articulate and show a willingness to learn. Your portfolio NEEDS to be as professional as that of a person who's been in the industry for 20 years. When I say professional, I'm not saying you should be better or have better work than someone who's been in the profession for 20 years, but your execution needs to be of that caliber. Your portfolio is a literally extension of who you are as a person and a designer. If it is unorganized, photo's aren't cleaned up or just has way too much clutter, your potential interviewer is going to assume these things about you.

I personally have re done my resume and website about 6 or 7 times within the year I've been out of school (and my website still isn't where it should be at). That being said your website needs to be narrowed down to the field your looking to get a job in to. An industrial design company most likely doesn't care about your photography and visa versa. What has worked for me is narrowed down my work to 4-6 of my best works, showing my process/ work flow from ideation to final product/ rendering. Keep your website clean, easy to navigate and have it relate to your style. Other than that keep applying and be persistent!

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby KenoLeon » July 22nd, 2016, 4:33 pm

User avatar

KenoLeon
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 643
Joined: October 23rd, 2012, 12:22 pm
Location: Mexico City
Hi KWeston:

I'll love to hear what those doing the actual hiring think, but I believe even from the entry level positions there is an emphasis on specialization that needs to be somehow communicated beforehand, in other words it might seem too wide for an employer and the current sum of the parts might not add up, the sections seem half realized.

Other thoughts:

- The 5 second read is a little too chaotic for my taste, I would pare it down and focus it.
- Social innovation,camera obscura,blog , these sections give me the impression of a personal site, not a portfolio site.
- The first page ( the first impression) I think you should skip directly to the projects page ( it sets you up in my mind as an artist and then it's hard to shake that impression).

I would also recommend you cast a wider net in your job hunt, jobs you are just 60% qualified.

Best,
Keno
Last edited by KenoLeon on July 23rd, 2016, 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Eugenio (Keno) Leon
k3no.com Linkedin Instagram

"Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated"

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby sketchstone » July 23rd, 2016, 10:48 am

User avatar

sketchstone
step three
step three
 
Posts: 107
Joined: June 30th, 2015, 6:05 pm
Get rid of the enter screen. Its one extra barrier to see your work. Also the enter page has bad color, font, word choices that arent helping you.
I would highly recommend that you organzie your portfolio by project and not by skillset like you currently have. Personally i stopped looking after i entered your website... Sadly i think most people would do the same :(

Ill post a more proper review over the weekend... But in its current state, i think most people who are looking to hire will falloff around the same time as me.

[update 7/25/2016]
Just noticed my initial response sounded overly harsh... I browsed your portfolio on my phone and was just posting my initial impressions in real-time.

Finally had a chance to look at your portfolio on a desktop computer and I immediately noticed an issue with the mobile version of your portfolio. The simple fact is most recruiters are going to only spend a few minutes quickly browsing your portfolio to see if it piques their interest... and anything "hidden" usually results in going unnoticed. Herein lies a Mobile UX issue. The mobile version of your site not only hides the navigation, but additional work is hidden underneath a hamburger menu! With most portfolios, this isn't a huge issue because designers often only put an "about and contact me" link under the menu, and when a recruiter loves the work they will scour the web portfolio until the contact info of the designer is found (again not the best UX, but its not a deal breaker). But in your case, this is a massive problem because your audience will only spend a few minutes on your site before they become uninterested and fall off. With the way your mobile site currently works, you need to be damn sure that the recruiter is impressed on that ONE page of random work that currently has some samples of 3d modeling with rhino, sketching, etc.

Some suggestions:
1. Limit your navigation links to work, resume, contact... this is really all you need.
2. Unless you plan to update your blog regularly with design related posts like how Andrew Kim rose to fame... I would remove the blog entirely as it sends a mixed message to your recruiters... is this a portfolio site to get a job or is this kirchin's personal blog?
3. Your work should be grouped by project not by skillset. Each project should showcase your skills in context with the work.
4. Your portfolio should clearly communicate what kind of designer you are and what you want to do. Recruiters aren't looking for someone who can paint and also do product design... There may be a few who wants a designer who can do a little bit of everything. But a majority of the time when you work for a company, you are doing a focused thing. You are either a product designer OR a photographer... not both.
Last edited by sketchstone on July 26th, 2016, 1:56 am, edited 4 times in total.

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby louis leblanc » July 24th, 2016, 12:53 pm

User avatar

louis leblanc
step three
step three
 
Posts: 144
Joined: June 13th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Look at your portfolio as a design problem. You're trying to convince a potential employer that you're the right person for their team.

They'll want to see someone that can come up with good products and design solutions for their needs. Show some insight to how you came to those conclusions so we can get a feel for how you work. That person will also be good at conveying those ideas. That means both strong visual communication skills (strong sketching, possibly good 3D modeling and rendering skills) and being good at telling the story of a product.

I'll be brutally honest with you, right now I'm seeing a personal website with a collection of unpolished tidbits. I'm guessing those tidbits are part of something bigger but your website doesn't show somebody that's ready to jump into a new product development team and bring worthy ideas or bring ideas to life.

Have a look at other recent graduate portfolios to see what you're up against. Check out coroflot or behance.

Also, look at this document from the 2012 class at DAAP. http://www.portfoliohandbook.com/Portfo ... UCID12.pdf It might feel a bit cookie-cutter but it'll steer you in the right direction.

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby yo » July 24th, 2016, 6:21 pm

User avatar

yo
Administration
Administration
 
Posts: 16222
Joined: January 5th, 2004, 6:57 pm
Location: SoCal
moved to the "Portfolio" forum

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby ralphzoontjens » July 25th, 2016, 4:10 am

User avatar

ralphzoontjens
full self-realization
full self-realization
 
Posts: 615
Joined: February 3rd, 2010, 10:20 am
Location: Tilburg, the Netherlands
Kirchin, I have looked into your portfolio and your potential is shining through. You just need to capture the attention of the visitor and guide them through a structured explanation of what exactly you can mean for a company.

I see that you present yourself mostly as an artist because that is what you feel comfortable with. Yet you have the potential to be a professional industrial designer. As far as I can see you are also a fit individual for a job in design or art teaching. You can maintain the various facets of who you are in the portfolio, while making it more structured and telling more in-depth about the things that really matter to a future employer.

Sometimes you are presenting yourself a bit all over the place, and we can see that you have skills and ambitions, the portfolio just doesn't show something truly finished regarding any professional field except art. A good company is surely the result of a vision and an amalgamation of individuals who in the end cannot be fully defined, yet there is also a structure - think of it as a pipeline with different stations with their inputs and outputs, the end of the pipeline being a finished industrial product. So a company wants to know about you as a person, your ideas and your skills, but also in the overall picture of a business they want to know how exactly they can fit you into the production pipeline. So if you can show something more finished and geared towards the job you are looking for, you definitely increase your chances of getting a job. Targeting your employers by studying their company and linking them to specific projects in your portfolio will increase your chances for a match without having to make your portfolio very specific to one professional field. In the end though, in my experience you end up where you fit best. I have tried for almost a year to get into UX/IxD because it was a large part of my education, and I had concrete projects to show, but I ended up getting just 2 interviews and not getting a job, then ending up in industrial design because it fits me better.
http://www.designsoul.nl
Designsoul - Product Design & Visualisation

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby sketchie105 » July 25th, 2016, 6:43 am

User avatar

sketchie105
 
Posts: 19
Joined: October 2nd, 2014, 6:47 am
Location: Detroit, Mi
To go off Louis Leblanc here are some really great students to model from. Just do a quick search on google to find them.

http://www.idsa.org/awards/student-merit-awards

I certainly agree with the Tidbits statement and I think once you see a good portfolio showing the whole "story" of their design process the comment will make more sense. I absolutely understand your frustrations as does everyone that is on this board; ID is so extremely demanding and the competition is fierce. With that in mind one really needs to show the process in quality when submitting to employers to really put their best skills forward to make it known that you are a valuable asset to their team.

Check this guy out. Very talented designer that would be a great person to emulate.

https://www.behance.net/SLMdesignCo

Keep your head up, the truth is you aren't alone in this and the majority of people on here have had to work their butts off to get where they are.

Re: Ready.... Critique my Portfolio.

Postby Jamie_Nixon » August 2nd, 2016, 6:00 pm


Jamie_Nixon
 
Posts: 1
Joined: August 2nd, 2016, 1:31 pm
Kirchin,

As someone who just completed my bachelors of Industrial Design, I understand your struggle of finding employment as well as perfecting a body of work into a portfolio. It is not an easy task and definitely requires hours of pouring over content, creating new content, and perfecting layout but that work is imperative to creating a body of work that shows a potential employer what you're capable of and how you work.

You clearly are very talented as I can see in your work but I want to know why you did the things you did. What was the inspiration behind the paper lamp. Was it a flatpack project? Was it a sustainable design project? Also for your design projects I agree with posters above that it is best to show your work for each project start to finish. Brief/research/ideation/modeling/materials/designing/refining/final model. That is what employers want to see because it shows them your thought process through an entire project which is ultimately what they will be hiring you for. Think of each project as a story. Often times this requires going back and creating drawings/sketches/models/renderings only for the use of your portfolio.

Another tip would to be to create a "personal" tab or use your about me section for your art as it is not the focus of the job you're trying to secure. I wouldn't take it off by any means because it is a very valuable skill to show that you are multi faceted.

Keep up the good work. Something will fall into place soon.


Return to portfolios